As you probably saw splashed all over the news yesterday, a collectible comic has broken the $1 million barrier, as a 8.0 graded copy of ACTION #1, the first appearance of Superman, as sold by an unknown owner to an unknown buyer. As told here, the sale was brokered by Stephen Fishler and Vincent Zurzolo of Comicconnect.com. The copy of ACTION #1 is one of only two in this condition known to exist, and this particular copy last sold 15 years ago for $150,000 — the previous record for a comics sales was another copy of ACTION #1 which went for $317,200 last year. On the Comic-Connect website, there’s more of the story:
This particular copy has been in a private collection for more than 15 years, and it’s likely to disappear again once it’s been turned over to its new owner. However, ComicConnect.com will allow the media to view it briefly in its New York City showroom (873 Broadway, Suite 201, 212-895-3999). The showroom is also home to ComicConnect.com’s affiliate, Metropolis Collectibles (metropoliscomics.com), the largest vintage comic book dealer in the world.
“It’s the Holy Grail of comic books,” says founder Stephen Fishler, one of the leading experts on collectible comics.
Only 100 copies of ACTION #1 are known to exist out of perhaps 200,000 printed, as estimated by John Jackson Miller, who has further musings on the story:
How long has a million-dollar offer been around? At least since the summer of 2001, when Richard Evans, owner of Houston’s Bedrock City Comics, mentioned it at a forum on the aftermarket that I organized at Comic Con International: San Diego. “At some point,” Evans said, “certain comics are going to reach a price ceiling where it they are going to become museum quality items. If the guy who owned the nicest Action #1 put it on the table, well, there’s already an offer of $1 million. I don’t think it would be any stretch of the imagination to believe that that guy’s offer is low.” (The forum in its entirety appeared in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1451.) Now, there’s no telling whether the ComicConnect buyer is the same potential buyer mentioned back then, or someone else — but it’s clearly not the first time Action’s been picked as the first book to hit the $1 million mark.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.